View our top seven stories to look out for this week (18-22 September), plus our key company earnings schedule.
Fed meeting in focus following hurricanes Irma & Harvey
Our chief market analyst, Michael Hewson, looks ahead to the September Federal Reserve meeting in the wake of hurricane season in the US, as well as the prospects for the dollar and the pound.
Might European inflation data influence ECB policy?
Monday: The recent rise in the euro appears to be putting a brake on inflationary pressures in the eurozone, having seen prices drop back to 1.3% from 1.9% earlier this year. There is some evidence that core prices may be picking up, which could pressure ECB policymakers into speeding up the withdrawal of its current loose monetary policy.
Autozone's profits are left trailing
Tuesday: At its last trading update Autozone's shares dropped sharply as a mild winter affected profit and revenue. This trend has been apparent for some time, especially now that Amazon has moved into the auto spares sector, hitting the US car part retailer's margins. Growth in the new car market has also reduced the need for spare parts as, quite simply, newer cars go wrong less often. This could be borne out in this week's Q4 trading update.
Can FedEx continue to deliver?
Tuesday: The growth of online shopping has benefited FedEx, following better-than-expected numbers in its end-of-year June update. The increase in revenue and volume is prompting more capital spend on new aircraft and ground capacity, as the US economy starts to show signs of improvement. Can this week's Q1 update continue the positive momentum from last year's profit growth?
Will Kingfisher's update help its share price rebound?
Wednesday: Kingfisher shares fell to their lowest level since November 2014 last month, after the home improvement retailer reported a 1.9% drop in like-for-like (LFL) sales for Q2. In the French division, Castorama posted an underwhelming 3.9% fall in LFL sales. The real damage though, came from the company's outlook, which was described as 'challenging'. Its Screwfix business remains a bright spot however, but a slower housing market and cautious consumers are making things difficult ahead of this week's half-year results.
Will the Bank of Japan keep rates unchanged?
Thursday: The latest economic data has pointed to an improvement in the Japanese economy in recent quarters, as unemployment remains low and GDP growth improves. More importantly, inflation appears to be stirring, which should be enough to keep the Bank of Japan's policy unchanged.
What does autumn hold in store for France and Germany?
Friday: A surprising aspect of 2017 has been the strong rebound in the French and German economies in the first part of the year, despite significant political uncertainty. There has been a slowdown in the summer months though, and with inflation starting to regain a foothold, we could see further softness into autumn. September's flash manufacturing and services PMI surveys should provide some clarity.
Index dividend schedule
If you trade indices, dividend payments from an index's constituent shares can result in either a credit or debit to your account.
View this week's indices dividend drop points table
Selected UK & US company earnings schedule
|Monday 18 September||Results|
|MP Evans Group (UK)||Half-year|
|Tuesday 19 September||Results|
|Adobe Systems (US)||Q3|
|Apogee Enterprises (US)||Q2|
|Bed Bath & Beyond (US)||Q2|
|Gulf Keystone Petroleum (UK)||Half-year|
|Wednesday 20 September||Results|
|Cambian Group (UK)||Half-year|
|General Mills (US)||Q1|
|Herman Miller (US)||Q1|
|Pan African Resources (UK)||Full-year|
|Thursday 21 September||Results|
|Kier Group (UK)||Full-year|
|Friday 22 September||Results|
|Finish Line (US)||Q2|
|Smiths Group (UK)||Full-year|
Company announcements are subject to change. All the events listed above were correct at the time of writing.
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